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Farmers in an Illinois county with a long history of hostility towards trucking took to the streets in their tractors yesterday to protest a plan that would bring more truck traffic into their town.
Once Again, Will County Says No To Trucks
A group of farmers and military veterans organized a parade of farm equipment and cars on Route 53 in Elwood at noon yesterday in order to protests a proposed warehouse development project that would increase truck traffic in the town. The two mile parade route covered much of the land where Kansas City-based company NorthPoint’s “Compass Business Park” is slated for development. The slow moving farm vehicles tied up traffic along the parade route.
The farmers say that increased truck traffic will make it harder for them to move their equipment. They also fear that more trucks will damage farm land. Farmer Dennis Attaway told the Chicago Tribune, “People are not in favor of this at all. Everyone is tired of this truck traffic.”
Northpoint opponent Stephanie Irvine said that the project would “destroy our communities and be nothing less than a disaster completely decimating the area as we know it.”
The $1.2 billion Compass Business Park facility would serve as many as 53,000 trucks per day, but the project’s developers have promised Will County residents that they have plans including installing truck barriers in strategic spots to ensure that truck traffic stays off local roads.
Additionally, project proponents point out that the Compass Business Park would bring 1000 construction jobs to the area in the short term and as many as 15,000 jobs to the area in the long term.
For years now, Will County residents have vocally opposed development that would bring more truck traffic into their area because they say that they fear the noise, the pollution, the increased traffic, and the possibility of fatal crashes.